Who Is Liable in a Multi-Vehicle Crash in Greenville?

by | Jan 30, 2024 | Auto Accidents

image of 2 damaged cars in SC auto accident

Determining liability in a multi-vehicle crash in Greenville, South Carolina, depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. In some cases, more than one driver may be partially at fault. This can make it difficult when you need compensation for your damages after a serious car accident.

What Is Liability?

First, you need to understand what liability is. There are two types of liability that are important in personal injury cases: legal liability and financial liability.

Legal liability indicates responsibility (or fault) for something, specifically when it comes to causing harm or damage to another person or their property. If a person is found legally liable for an accident, they may be required to compensate the injured party.

Financial liability refers to an obligation to pay another person. In a car accident case, the insurance companies are typically financially liable for damages.

How Is Liability Determined in a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident?

Liability is determined in any car accident by assessing who is negligent. The party or parties who are negligent in a crash are liable for the damages of the other drivers. Negligence indicates that a party acted without the care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation.

For example, if a driver is speeding on the highway, they are breaking the law. This is negligence because a reasonable person is expected to follow the law and obey the speed limit. If that individual then causes a crash, then they can be held liable for the damages that were the result of that negligence.

Many factors can contribute to liability, including:

  • Driver actions: This includes any negligent actions that contributed to the accident, such as speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, failing to yield the right of way, or following too closely.
  • Chain reaction: In multi-vehicle crashes, the initial cause of the collision may not be the only driver at fault. Other drivers contributing to the chain reaction by rear-ending other vehicles or making evasive maneuvers could also be held partially liable.
  • Road conditions and weather: If road conditions or weather played a role in the accident, such as black ice or a malfunctioning traffic light, the government or a third party could be held liable.
  • Vehicle defects: If a defective vehicle part caused the accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer or distributor.

What If More Than One Party Is Liable?

damaged cares involved in multi-vehicle accidentIn many multi-vehicle crashes in Greenville, more than one driver is liable. When this is the case, it’s important to know that South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence law. This means that each driver’s negligence is compared, and their share of liability is assigned accordingly. Each driver will pay the injured party or parties according to their fault or liability for the accident.

Also, you can still recover compensation even if you were partially at fault, as long as your percentage of fault is less than 51%.

Compensation in Multi-Vehicle Crashes

In a car accident between two vehicles, you may be strictly limited on how much money you can recover depending on the amount of insurance the other party has. However, in a multi-vehicle accident where more than one person is responsible, you have a better chance of having all of your damages covered by multiple insurance policies.

You can get compensation for the following losses:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress

It’s impossible to know exactly how much your case is worth without first talking to a multi-vehicle car accident lawyer. However, you may be able to get enough money to cover all your damages.

How to Prevent Multi-Vehicle Car Accidents in Greenville

woman-adjusting-rear-view-mirror-of-vehicleMulti-vehicle car accidents can be devastating, causing injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage. Here are some tips on how to prevent them:

  • Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to the road, other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Avoid distractions like your phone, eating, or loud music.
  • Maintain a safe following distance: Use the three-second rule. pick a fixed object on the side of the road, and when the car in front of you passes it, count for three seconds. If you don’t have at least three seconds between yourself and the car in front of you, increase your following distance.
  • Obey the speed limit: Speeding is a major factor in car accidents. Adjust your speed for conditions, such as bad weather or heavy traffic.
  • Use turn signals properly: Let other drivers know your intentions well in advance of any lane changes or turns.
  • Avoid aggressive driving: Don’t tailgate, cut off other drivers, or make sudden lane changes.
  • Get enough sleep: Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Make sure you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel.
  • Never drink and drive: Alcohol impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction time. If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or rideshare, or have a designated driver.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of drugs: Prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and even over-the-counter medications can impair your driving ability.
  • Avoid driving when distracted: Put your phone away, don’t eat or drink while driving, and avoid loud conversations or music.

Contact a Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Attorney If You Are Hurt

If you are involved in a multi-vehicle car accident, you need to know that the legal road ahead can be complex. There will be many people pointing fingers and trying to avoid liability. You deserve to get the compensation you deserve after being hurt in a crash that was not your fault.

Attorney Venus Poe can help. Call today at (864) 754-0823 for a consultation of your case.

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